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Cutting Rebar

 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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I need to cut standard rebar. Any suggestions on what to use? In the past I have used a chop saw with a diamond blade, but I dont have access to it anymore. I can rent one locally but they don't have diamond blades, and Im not even sure what type of diamond blade I would need. Thanks alot!
 
Robert Ray
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Does the rental place have a rebar cutter/bender?  Human powered, pretty common tool.
 
Rob Sigg
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Oddly enough they don't, but its a small local place so in some ways it doesnt suprise me.
 
Darren Collins
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Location: Jamberoo, NSW, Australia
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I use an angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel. It's nice and agile, so you can trim bits off after assembling projects. Then switch to a metal grinding wheel if you want to smooth off sharp edges and burrs.
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
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A reciprocating saw with a carbide metal cutting blade will do the job.  Have plenty of spare blades if you've got a lot of cutting to do.

A hacksaw will work, too, but it won't be fun.
 
Rob Sigg
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In both cases above do you guys need to keep it secure somehow or are you just holding it on a surface? I dont have much of a workbench with clamps or anything at this point, which is why the chopsaw works so great. Thanks guys.
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
In both cases above do you guys need to keep it secure somehow or are you just holding it on a surface? I dont have much of a workbench with clamps or anything at this point, which is why the chopsaw works so great. Thanks guys.


I usually just grab and hold the rebar a few inches from where I intend to cut, keeping enough distance between my hand and the saw blade to be safe, but close enough to the cut to keep the rebar from flopping around as its sawn.  Sometimes I brace the rebar on my knee/thigh, or a chair, table, stoop, what-have-you, if I need more control.

Go slow, be safe.

 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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As I tell my wife all the time, " I know, I know...my middle name is careful!"

I have like 60 plus cuts to make, I dont think I trust myself to hold it LOL.
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
As I tell my wife all the time, " I know, I know...my middle name is careful!"

I have like 60 plus cuts to make, I dont think I trust myself to hold it LOL.


60?!  Yowza, that's a bunch.

The holding hand does get crampy after the first dozen cuts.

If you have an assistant, that could help.  One could hold and feed the rebar, while the other cuts.

Good luck.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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We use 40" bolt cutters to but our rebar.  It's quick, easy, and doesn't require electricity.

They actually make manual rebar cutters.  It is basically a bolt cutter with a really long handle.
 
Darren Collins
Posts: 34
Location: Jamberoo, NSW, Australia
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If it's lengths of rebar I'm cutting, I'll just put it on the garage floor (or the ground outside) and slip a timber offcut underneath to lift it a little, and cut with my angle grinder. You can stand on it to steady it while you cut.
 
Bucks Brandon
Posts: 44
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania [zone 6]
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the first thing that came to mind for me would be an angle grinder, but I'm not sure if it's the best tool for as many cuts as you are looking at! I kinda hate to recommend them, because their quality is *VERY* spotty... but in a pinch harbor freight can give you a good solution at an affordable price.*

$85.00 for a miter saw:
http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/miter-saws/10-inch-compound-miter-saw-91995.html

$22.00 for a grinder:
http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/grinders/heavy-duty-4-1-2-half-inch-angle-grinder-91223.html

$30.00 for 42" bolt cutters:
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/bolt-cutters/42-inch-bolt-cutters-41151.html

Anything from Harbor Fright with bits or blades, I buy nicer ones from a hardware store because they generally won't last. That personal rule makes me wonder about the bolt cutters, too. Also, it's pretty easy to find coupons for HF that makes it even cheaper.

For some extra money, all of those items could also be picked up at home cheapo, lowes, sears, etc.... The ultra budget learn to hate the job would be a hacksaw.

[size=5pt]*of course this may or may not be a result of slave labor in china or terrible environmental oversight - but then again this may be the case with a large number of items we buy these days, not necessarily harbor freight specific.[/size]
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I have a set of bolt cutters from harbor freight.  It's been cutting rebar for 8 years, now.

I'd suggest getting something locally, though, just to support local businesses....
 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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I cut 40 large rectangle sheets of rebar with the large angle grinder with long life cutting wheel. The wheel did all 40 without wearing down more than 1/2 the material.

The dimensions are 6 metres long by 2.4 metres wide. Cutting it in half down the long end gives twelve metres of 1.2 metre high fencing when set up in the paddocks.

I also use the angle grinder to cut up metal rain water tanks that have rusted. One tank made me two new pig houses to put in the pens.

For large property/farm work, its a good multi-purpose tool to have.

I am sure mine was 2000Watt with soft start so it does not tear your hands off when starting up with all that torque at the get go.

I was thinking of buying bolt cutters but I also cut off bolts with the angle grinder, work on the tractor and metal work with the angle grinder.

Oh and I do have grinding discs to actually do grinding work.

I was going to buy a reciprocating saw back when I was cutting up the metal rainwater tanks but a person in the tool shop that manages and runs many large farm properties out here converted me to buying the large contractor sized angle grinder and I have never gone back He said the recipro saw would take hours or days. It took less than 5 minutes to cut the tank completely in half with the angle grinder with cutting wheel.

I will be building my own bar in the garage, already have the wood fired pot bellied stove for warm winter nights and having home made beer chilled and on tap will be the treat so I will use the angle grinder to cut the tin siding ..

The rebar is in process of being set up with metal star pickets and have almost finished fencing in the paddock for the cows.

I am adding chicken wire tied on with metal tie wire to the remaining rebar to make pig fences that little porkers can not squeeze through the rebar squares and injure themselves on some escape artist event. (it has happened to the pig farmer down the road who showed me the rebar fencing and his pigs and modifications to the rebar fencing for escaping piglets.)

Cheers,
PeterD
 
Nacho Collado
Posts: 42
Location: Granada City (that's in the south of Spain)
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at my work place they upgraded and had to construct new rooms and buildings and they used a manual rebar cutter. it was fair simple ,sort of a sliding edge with leverage system, fast and accurate  it used human power with a large lever such as the ones in the pic that show the cutter without the lever

also they used a human powered machine to bend rebar into any shape they needed (i made just for fun a triangle bell and an a little anchor to climb walls)
 
chip sanft
Posts: 294
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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PeterD wrote:
The dimensions are 6 metres long by 2.4 metres wide. Cutting it in half down the long end gives twelve metres of 1.2 metre high fencing when set up in the paddocks.


I'm intrigued by this, because it seems like rebar fencing might be both strong and relatively cheap. How did it work out for you? How did you prevent rust?
 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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i dont prevent rust

the rebar is quite thick and time will tell how many years or decades it holds up

cheers,
peterd
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Thanks everyone, Now I have to decide what Im going to spend my money on!
 
Mo Smith
Posts: 17
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Unless I have a whole bunch to do I just score the two side beads with a hack or sawzall and break it like a shim.  No need to saw through the whole bar.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2523
Location: FL
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Angle grinder with a Metabo wheel, quick/easy
Rebar cutter/bender, no power needed, no mess
 
Kevin Power
Posts: 16
Location: Western Washington
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It seems like their might be some confusion. Are we talking about rebar or wire mesh? The general DIY'r knows two types of steel re-inforcemers: wire mesh & rebar. Wire Mesh can be used from fencing to sidewalk & concrete countertop reencforment, as well as many other things. It ranges is gauge & sheet sizes. Wire mesh comes in tiles that you can easily use a grinder with a carbide blade, and bolt-cutters on.

Rebar on the other hand, is the thicker, sturdier, bruiser brother of wire mesh. It ranges from as small as 3/8-inch to as big as 2 3/8-inches. Trying to cut rebar with a grinder is asking for a lot of swearing, missing skin, and high blood pressure. It just takes forever for very little effort. When I was first in construction, all of the rebar on one footing wall run was too tall. Could not fit anything but a 4-inch grinder in their and I got the lucky job of cutting them down to size. It was only a 90-foot run, the bar was what we call 5-bar, and it took me nearly two days to cut all of them to proper height. Cutting a lot of bars at once, we use a "hot saw" which is just a demo saw with a carbide cutting blade. A bit unwieldy, but then again, most power tools tend to be. Word of caution: if you do not like to on fire, beware of what you are wearing when using one of these. Leather boots are highly advisable. The wheel spins counter-clockwise, shooting sparks at the ground towards your feet. If you are wearing raggy jeans with frays, it will catch. If you wear cargo pants, khakis, or say you're a stickler for 70's polyester, I would seriously reconsider using this tool. Also, not for the weak.

So.... for just cutting one or two bars at a time, I highly recommend a Portaband. It is a power-hacksaw that rotates a blade around a drum similar to a bandsaw, only portable. Give a quick look-up in google. We use both of them quite extensively in the construction industry up here depending upon the task. They are fairly easy to find, new & used.

I hope this helps, even if it might be months late.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We generally chop rebar with a big pair of cutters just for this purpose. Sometimes we use an angle grinder. We do a lot of concrete work and mostly we use 1/2" (#4) rebar, often with a sub-mesh of WWM and then fiber. Sometimes lath.

Don't use a diamond blade - that's for cutting hard things like stone and concrete. Steel is a soft material.

See:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/front-arch-up/

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/steel-workers-sky-walkers/
 
Dennis Mitchell
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I've used a metal cutting blade on a jig saw or saws all...or even just a hack saw and surprisingly little sweat!
 
Dale Hodgins
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I regularly cut rebar with a recip saw. It's about 3 times faster than the grinder with no smoke. I recently had to carve a path through this mechanical room. I had a pack of 5 Dewalt metal cutting blades that got me through about 40% of it. Then I found a Bosch blade and finished everything with one blade.

Success or failure when using a hacksaw blade in a recip saw is all about holding things still so that the point of the blade doesn't hit anything that would bend it. A short length of 2x4 laid on the ground provides a great spot to lay the rebar. Stand on it and cut. With a good Bosch blade, cuts should take about 3 seconds each to complete.

1. Mechanical room with lots of ugly ductwork and pipes that required a clean path cut through.

2. The Dewalt case is just the right size to hold useful blades that don't snap every 5 seconds.

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C. Letellier
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Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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Why a diamond blade? It is simple steel. Any steel cutting abrasive blade will work in the chop saw. Have also used a cutting torch to cut a bunch.(damages the coating if you are using coated rebar plus a risk from the fumes.) Hack saw, grinder, arc welder with cuttrode have all been used. Be aware that if the rebar is in concrete that heat can damage the concrete and create small explosions. Smaller rebar as stated bolt cutters are great or get a rebar cutter.
 
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